As President Trump passes the milestone of his first 100 days in office, his most effective tool so far has been what he calls “the sledgehammer”—the pen he has used to sign about 30 executive orders, plus memos and pieces of legislation, that knock down a wide range of Obama-era rules and decisions.

Among Trump’s construction-related actions are measures to ease contractor disclosure mandates, narrow federal authority over dredging near bodies of water and remove Obama’s roadblocks of  high-profile energy pipeline projects.

But the sledgehammer hasn’t been effective in advancing Trump’s legislative priorities. GOP-drafted legislation to abolish President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and set up a new system has failed to gain enough Republicans’ votes to ensure passage in the House.

On tax reform, a second top legislative item, Trump has just gotten the ball rolling, unveiling a bare-bones, one-page outline for an ambitious tax-cut plan that could benefit many engineering and construction firms. But the outline quickly sparked strong criticism from Democrats.

 

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